A team at Dartmouth College followed 5,000
teenagers for a period of four years to track their video gaming and social
habits. At the conclusion of the study, the results showed that teenagers who
play violent computer games are more likely to drink, smoke and have
unprotected sex and catch a sexually transmitted disease. The results suggest
that becoming obsessed with video games that glorify risky behavior encourages
adolescents to take more risks in life, fueled by the adrenaline coursing
through their fingertips.
Should I worry? Should I
fret? My 12-year-old is a gamer too. He found out about his favorite game from
his friends earlier this year, ever since you can rarely find him without
his nose to his chest staring at his cell phone. He is obsessed with "Dragon City" and plays the game non-stop. The only thing is, "Dragon City" isn’t really
violent at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
One evening my son and I were
on Skype and he was filling me in on his day. “Look, Ma,” he said to me and
placed the screen for his cell phone close to the camera so I could see it.
“What is it?” I asked him.
“It’s your dragon. I named it
“Well, send me a screen
shot,” I requested. Moments later I smiled down at a pretty green dragon with
Whenever psychology studies concerning children’s development pop up in my newsfeed, I become a little antsy wondering if my sons will become statistics.
It turns out "Dragon City" is
about having your own city that you populate with dragons you have to care
for. You work hard to earn gold coins to buy food for your dragons, and the more
dragons you have, the more successful you are. You cross-breed dragons to
create amazing hybrid dragons with unique powers, and each dragon is a special
breed with a cool name.
My son named the Nature
Dragon after me because he thinks I am down-to-earth. Isn’t that sweet? While
other kids are mowing down random virtual strangers on the sidewalks in "Grand
Theft Auto" my son is raising dragons — or dare I say, he’s raising a family.
My son is playing "Dragon City" but he’s actually living out his fantasy of being a father. Ever since I can
remember, he’s talked about the 200 girls and 200 boys he wanted to have. He
can cook, loves to clean, makes excellent grades in school, is very reasonable
and wise. At 12 years old, I already know he will be the type of individual who
will be able to handle the intricacies of life, and now with his dragon family
growing to include more than 50 dragons, I can see that he will be a great
My baby takes great care of
his dragons, which he says are very expensive to feed everyday but he is
dedicated to doing it. Whenever psychology studies concerning children’s
development pop up in my newsfeed, I become a little antsy wondering if my sons
will become statistics. Maybe the smoking and drinking will come later, we all
have to have our moment of experimenting and defiance. At least for right now,
at the age of 12, he seems to be doing fine, completely engrossed in taking
care of his 50 dragons in his little dragon city.